Moffat County Fair livestock buyers continue to set new benchmarks for generosity
Moffat County Fair attendees were bringing home the bacon this year, not to mention beef, poultry, mutton and more.
The Moffat County Junior Livestock Sale Foundation sold 76 lots this year on behalf of 4-H and FFA livestock-handling young folks. The total intake was $395,765.19. That’s up more than 17% from last year, when 79 lots sold for $338,000 and change, and is up more than 40% from two years ago, when the sale made its kids just over $282,000.
“This community stepped up,” said Jason Bacon, treasurer for the Foundation. “Amazing. Amazing. It was a really, really good sale.”
Bacon said that, even as kids involved and animals for sale has decreased somewhat, the cash the community is putting down on behalf of these youth keeps going up.
“I see from this that the people we do business with, in the community, they see how important and good this is,” Bacon said. “They see the kids coming out of the program and into the community and the workforce and they’re good kids. Really good kids; this teaches them to be good adults, good community members.”
The money, explained foundation president Chad Green, primarily goes directly to the children raising the animals sold, meaning there were kids walking away with thousands of dollars after the foundation took a small commission to put the sale on.
“Most of these kids use it first to pay off their loans and whatever they incurred over the year producing the stock,” Green said. “Some then put some money aside to purchase and fund next year’s project, and then a lot of them bank the rest and use it for a college fund.”
Green said the Foundation board, which was started in the 1960s, is an 11-member volunteer body made up of many alumni of 4-H and FFA, as well as other supporters.
“This is a great program, and most of us have ties,” he said. “We know the benefits of the program, so our goal or our purpose is to provide an opportunity for kids to market their project to the public. There are so many valuable skills these young people gain through this program. It’s a way to help them out. What this community did needs to be recognized.”
Bacon, who like many involved has kids in the program, said he sees in both his children and in folks in the community just how powerful the program is and expressed his gratitude to the community who came together to support it.
“This is the next generation; it’s who we’ll hire,” Bacon said. “These kids, they’re a little harder working, a little more invested, better at communication, scheduling, showing up, time management and being a self-starter. They’re used to that, because they have to do that.”
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Next week, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Moffat County are hosting a free day-long seminar for local ranchers and agriculture producers.